The Love of God

Today is Wednesday, October 12, 2016. 31 years ago, C and I were married! TWO days until Galveston!!!!

In honor of 31 years, here is “our song.”

Quote of the Day

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” – Ann Landers

Word of the Day

Opuscule – a small or minor work.

Today is Old Farmers Day. Seriously, is there any other kind? My deepest apologies to any young farmers out there, who might stumble across this. In all seriousness, farmers, especially older ones, don’t have it easy these days. So we should express our gratitude to them, whenever possible.

Yes, today is the 31st anniversary of our wedding! C and I were married on October 12, 1985, not quite a year after we started dating. C would say that has been 29 of the best years of her life. True, there were a couple of rocky years, in there. But, by the grace of God, we got through them, and remain strong. I can easily say that my love for her has grown through all of these years. Do we still look, enraptured, into each others eyes like silly young lovers? No. But I believe with all of my heart that our love for each other is a million times stronger than the love we had during those days. I thank God for bringing her into my life, and I thank God for keeping her here.

We decided, last night (and by “we” I mean “C”), that I needed to take one more day off to heal this stuff. It was still pretty red last night. This morning, though, it looks much better. It still hurts a little, and is still somewhat touch-sensitive, but it’s better. I think one more day of keeping the legs propped up will help. I’m only scheduled to work a half-day tomorrow. My boss was okay with it, when I called him last night. He didn’t complain at all, in fact. Should that worry me?

Yesterday, I stayed propped up in the corner chair pretty much all day, only getting up to use the bathroom and get more water or something to eat. I watched six and a half hours of Stranger Things, on Netflix, getting caught up with season one. It was a bittersweet ending, but I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and am looking forward to another season, whenever they release it. When C asked me if she would like it, I said, “Not at all.” After that, I watched a supernatural/scary movie called Beneath. The acting wasn’t great, and the story wasn’t super interesting, but the last twenty minutes or so changed everything, and it suddenly got rather exciting. Talk about a plot twist!

What will I watch today? Not sure. I might get caught up on The Walking Dead, or I might watch Game of Thrones. I also might read some. I didn’t do much of that yesterday.

In baseball that I don’t care about anymore, the Cubs clinched their spot in the NLDS, beating the Giants 6-5. The Dodgers beat the Nats, tying the series 2-2. No game today. The Dodgers and Nats will face off tomorrow for the final game, in Washington. Yes, they are playing hockey. No, they’re not. That’s a joke.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
Psalm 66:8-9
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay! Psalm 70:5
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
Psalm 71:5-6
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:11

(From Praying With the Psalms)

My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.
My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me?
The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law.
All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.
In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.
Psalm 119:81-88

Unlike human parents, God does not need to interrupt what he is doing to explain himself to us every time we lose our way or lose sight of his ways. When we grow impatient, he does not have to take “time out to demonstrate the truth of his word.” This sometimes causes us to fall into doubt and dryness. During these times, we fear that we will not make it. “Nevertheless, because God is, we can.” O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)

“Help me, God, to trust you even when I can’t see clearly what you are doing. Help me to hope even when I cannot feel the conviction of your triumph. In the strong name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139:2-3

(This was, I believe, my father’s favorite Psalm, and it is also one of my favorites.)

Jim Hinsch writes of an evening with his daughter, Frances, seven years old, at bedtime prayer time. He first noticed that she was about to outgrow her bed, and commented on how tall she had gotten. Disregarding any potential of embarrassing her, he continued expressing memories, memories of when she was born, holding her in one arm, talking to her, and how easily he could make her fall asleep each night. He was surprised to find, when he finished, that she wasn’t embarrassed at all. Rather, she sat up, threw her arms around him, squeezed him tight, and said, “I love you, Daddy!”

As he reflected, he thought of Psalm 139, and realized that, just maybe, his memories were not simply nostalgia, but also served as a glimpse “of the immensity of [his] love for her.” Perhaps, even a glimpse of a great love that embraces and knows us all.

I think of memories of my own daughters; the memory of R, confidently walking up the sidewalk to her first pre-school, Barney lunch box in hand. The thought of S, riding home from Children’s Palace, excitedly talking about being “student of the week.” R’s graduation ceremony (I declared that she “won graduation” because she had more extra letters beside her name); S actually getting a high school diploma. I also think of memories with my own parents. That banana seat bicycle I got for Christmas; playing photo-electric football with Daddy; Mama making popcorn on the stove . . . so many memories, so much love.

And then I think . . . none of this even begins to compare with the love that our Father has for us. Think about that today. Rest in that love. Let it wash over you. Never doubt it.

Father, I am almost overwhelmed, this morning, as I meditate on your steadfast love for us. I pray that I would never doubt it again. And whenever I do, simply point me back to the examples that I have listed today. Your grace is sufficient; your love everlasting. You will never leave us, nor forsake us, thought the mountains fall and the sea disappear. Thank you, Father! Thank you!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

-Frederick Lehman

Grace and peace, friends.

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